2019-2020 winners

The Team of Librarians at the Centre de Services Scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM)

At the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal, the library staff is committed to assisting and advising the members of the school teams. Everyone works together to promote sustainable reading habits, develop students’ digital literacy and build a dynamic school library. The CSSDM librarians’ work is uniquely organized. The team shares its expertise with the elementary and secondary school teams in four major areas: 1. supporting the organization and development of cultural projects in the library; 2. promoting and enhancing collections; 3. assisting schools in setting up learning hubs that include a creative lab; 4. pedagogical training and digital integration. In addition, the team demonstrates its passion for reading by carrying out a large number of stimulating projects, in collaboration with several partners, aimed at developing a love of reading. Their influence in various fields of action is remarkable!

Marie-France Beaulieu, librarian at the École secondaire Mont-Saint-Sacrement

For many of her colleagues, Marie-France Beaulieu is the school library’s spark that kindled the passion for reading in many teenagers. This librarian has only one goal: that each student who comes into the library leaves with a book they are satisfied with. She sets no restrictions, all types of reading are welcome: comic books, scientific works, biographies and even novels. She makes sure that every student at the library feels at home. Marie-France has been fulfilling this mission for over eight years. She shows students that reading is not only a school task, but an opportunity to escape and discover a world of infinite possibilities. She eagerly assists teachers and collaborates in the creation of activities that promote reading to students and writes a monthly newsletter for the entire school community. When they walk into the library, students and adults alike know that they will be welcomed by Marie-France, always smiling and available. That is probably why we can find an impressive number of readers in the library at lunch time!

Mélanie Therrien, teacher at the École Les Bocages of the Centre de services scolaire des Découvreurs

Mélanie Therrien is an Elementary Cycle One teacher who will be completing her 18th year in the education system. She is certainly passionate about children’s literature and the creation of pedagogical contexts that allow students to be active in their learning. Her desire to further develop her pedagogical practice and that of her colleagues when it comes to using children’s literature is remarkable. Mélanie is an ambassador for the diversification of learning contexts for reading in her community and beyond. Over the past few years, she has facilitated workshops at major conferences and participated in several projects in collaboration with RÉCIT, among others. According to her friends and family, time spent in the class of this exceptional teacher is, for children, a guarantee that they will develop all the basic skills: they will undoubtedly become good readers, but above all, will have received the greatest gift of all at the very beginning of their academic path, namely a genuine interest in reading!

Jocelyne Prenoveau, teacher at the École Saint-Benoît of the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal

Jocelyne Prenoveau has been cultivating a love of reading and writing in her students for over 25 years. She teaches Elementary Cycle One at a school in multiethnic, allophone neighbourhood where diverse students live side by side. Most of them are recent immigrants, and French is often their second or third language. To meet this daily challenge, she creates, using her passion and magic, the spark that motivates children to give their all as they take their first steps towards reading and writing. They will become skilled readers and writers. This motivation will come from offering students learning contexts, adapted to their needs and level, experienced only through children’s literature. A pioneer in teaching with children’s literature, Jocelyne contributed to the growth of this practice by publishing a book in 2007 in which she shared her vision, experiences and pedagogical reflections, thus becoming a reference for her current and future colleagues. This Spark Award highlights her daily dedication to the children as well as the significant impact her practice has had.

Martine Arpin, teacher at the École À l’Orée-du-Bois of the Centre de services scolaire des Trois-Lacs

According to her friends and family, Martine Arpin is a contagious ball of energy for anyone who meets her! When it comes to improving the teaching of reading and writing, which she sees as interrelated, she fuels the passion for reading in her students, her colleagues and those around her. By sharing her practical and theoretical knowledge, she has a positive influence at the local level, as well as at the national and even international level. In addition to her work as an Elementary Cycle One teacher, Martine is co-founder of the blog Les ateliers d’écriture et de lecture au primaire (reading and writing workshops in elementary school), a member of the board of directors of the organization De mots et de craie (with words and chalk), which promotes children’s literature in education, and a guest speaker. Every day, she works to make her students not only literate young people, but true lifelong readers and writers, while ensuring the development of the most enduring reading habits possible in people of all ages. 

Caroline Boudreau, teacher at the École Saint-Rosaire, and Stéphanie Noël, librarian, at the Centre de services scolaire des Chic-Chocs

Caroline Boudreau is a teacher who is passionate about children’s literature and she works hard every day to share her enthusiasm and expertise with her colleagues, her students and those in other classes and schools, their families, etc. She shows her students how her inner child is touched by every story, every illustration, every beautiful turn of phrase. And there is no shortage of project ideas in her classroom and beyond!

Stéphanie Noël often works in the shadows since she takes care of the central library and the Centre de services scolaire des Chic-Chocs. Without her extraordinary work, teachers and students would not magically get a box of books every month! She makes sure that each box is filled with interesting and diversified books that students will like and offers teachers all the support they need. According to her colleagues, she is a true reading fairy!

Together, Caroline and Stéphanie make an incredible team. They created book webs with binders filled with additional activities and ideas to explore. They generously share the fruits of their labour and their experience with other teachers and with their students. They have also set up literary dates, in collaboration with École en reseau, where they propose an interactive reading, taking into account that it is an online activity involving several classes at the same time, as well as additional pedagogical activities, many of which are collaborative between classes. Both passionate about literature and pedagogy, Caroline and Stéphanie keep up to date with the latest research in order to improve their expertise and share it with their colleagues and students.

Lucie Béchard, Alexandra Hontoy, Benita Kanozayire and Julien Leclerc, collaborators for the website J’enseigne avec la littérature jeunesse

Last March, in a Québec on hold, these four teachers worked tirelessly to create and develop the Bonjour les lecteurs (hello readers) project that allowed Québec students to continue developing their reading skills from a distance. Watching their dynamic clips and reading their publications on the J’enseigne avec la littérature jeunesse website, we can clearly feel the passion that these four teachers have for this literature that is close to their heart. They are a source of inspiration for many of their colleagues and are not only recognized across Québec, but also in the francophonie. It is a pleasure to highlight the contribution of these ambassadors who know how to adapt to all situations, like the lockdown, in order to pursue their mission to help create lifelong readers. 

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